'Stoptober' stop-smoking campaign launched in England

Stoptober ad The Stoptober wheel will travel the country so people can sign it and pledge to quit

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Smokers across England are being urged to quit for a month in a government campaign.

Research has shown that people who manage to stop smoking for that length of time are more likely not to start again.

"Stoptober" takes place for 28 days from 1 October.

England's Chief Medical Officer Professor Dame Sally Davies said it was the first time that the government had launched a "mass quit attempt".

The campaign will involve TV and radio advertising, a daily messaging service and roadshows around the country. There is also a Stoptober app and a Facebook page.

Health Minister Norman Lamb, who said he quit smoking last week, told BBC Breakfast the campaign was "a good investment in health promotion".

"I think it's well worth trying this approach," he said.

"And if we can get people working locally together collectively to give up we can have a real impact."

'Social animals'

Robert West, director of tobacco studies at University College London, meanwhile, told BBC Radio 4's Today programme that smokers tended to stop "in clumps".

Start Quote

It's key that smokers don't give up trying to give up”

End Quote Jean King, Cancer Research UK

"We are social animals, we are herd animals and we are influenced by each other," he said.

He added: "So I think there's good reason to believe setting it up as a mass movement, if you like, would give you a bit of extra bang for your buck."

Jean King, director of tobacco control at Cancer Research UK, which is backing the campaign, said: "Smoking accounts for one in four cancer deaths and nearly a fifth of all cancer cases so it's vital that work continues to support smokers to quit.

"Breaking the addiction is difficult, so new and innovative campaigns such as this are hugely important."

She added: "It's key that smokers don't give up trying to give up."


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  • rate this

    Comment number 612.

    I smoked 30 a day for 10 years. I think any efforts from both the public and government can't be knocked. Quitting is an incredibly difficult task to undertake, something a non-addict will never know. Everybody needs a reason to quit and if Stoptober means that even one person quits for good then it has served it's purpose.

  • rate this

    Comment number 607.

    A friend of mine was a lifelong smoker. When I asked why she didn't quit, she would say it was just too difficult, despite knowing that it was dangerous. She has recently learnt that she has lung cancer and, guess what, she has quit smoking and is in the process of being treated.
    Don't leave it until it is too late.

  • rate this

    Comment number 606.

    I actually love a cigarette but don;t have a habit. I guess I smoke in any given year about 50-60 of them. Even on the rare occasions I buy a pack and smoke over a weekend I have no desire to smoke more as the hook isn't there... that and I feel like an ash tray. The only thing I couldn't give up was Football Manager so just deleted the entire game one strong day. Wheres our stop playing month?

  • rate this

    Comment number 503.

    Campaigns should not be knocked. They do have an impact: smoking has declined over many years. I gave up when I was 28 having tried to give up on innumerable occasions. I suggest reducing smoking by one cigarette per day per week so if you smoke 20 a day you could be down to 1 per day in about 5 months.
    Giving up is the proudest achievement of my life as it was so difficult.

  • rate this

    Comment number 467.

    This is a campaign to help people to give up. There is no government interference as many seem to imply. If the import bill for tobacco can be reduced as a result this will be a benefit to the economy as will the extra spending generated by those who are successful. As good as a small VAT reduction.


Comments 5 of 25


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